HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The last of three projects for the Carolina Bays Parkway Project is well underway. If you drive on or live off of SC-31, or Carolina Bays Parkway in Socastee, you're probably familiar with the traffic headache from the road work.
Residents of the Bay Road area along SC-707 said their drive times have increased from about 15 to 20 minutes to one hour or more at times since the project began in 2014. But, the benefits outweigh the traffic costs, some say.
Construction for the 31 extension started February 25, 2014. It's broken into three segments: an interchange at 544 to the Intracoastal Waterway, and a connection and bridge over the waterway to 707. The last two segments are expected to be opened together in February of next year.
The bridge over 707 is the last part of the project and requires most of the work. Construction includes new signage, sidewalks, paving and guardrails, plus an extra three lanes to help out those drive times. County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says the extension will even out the traffic flow, but for now, the delays are unavoidable.
"[The] south end is pretty familiar with us doing some limited lane closures throughout the evening," Bourcier said. "But, this will be both lanes being shut down at most 20-minute increment time periods from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. throughout those evenings." The lanes are expected to be closed between those times until May 19, but will not close during the weekends.
Enterprise Road will re-open in June. The road has been closed since September of last year.